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Leeds: Phil Hay backs Wilfried Gnonto for a huge role in remainder of the season

Leeds: Phil Hay backs Wilfried Gnonto for a huge role in remainder of the season - Leeds United News

Phil Hay has admitted on The Phil Hay Show Wilfried Gnonto will still have a big role to play in Leeds United’s battle against the drop.

The Lowdown: Leeds are stuck in a rut

Having arrived as certainly not the club’s first-choice attacking signing last summer with players such as Bamba Dieng and Cody Gakpo being chased prior to his move, Gnonto has proved his worth to The Whites.

The Italian international is still only 19 but has been afforded 19 appearances across all competitions this season such is the talent that he’s possessed and been able to showcase thus far.

However, since Javi Gracia came to the club he’s fallen down the pecking order starting just once in the league, although that’s also coincided with the Whites’ continued poor run of form, so he may not be far away from getting the nod once again.

The Latest: Gnonto will still have a part to play this season

Despite being shunned to the sidelines in recent times, Hay is still convinced that Gnonto will play a significant role in Leeds’ attempts to stay in the Premier League.

He said: (17:10) “It can’t all be on him, it can’t be just him getting flogged to death because nobody else is particularly providing inspiration but I think again, to take his substitute appearance on Saturday, it’s hard not to feel like he’s going to be very influential towards the back end of the season, or needs to be very influential in that period.”

The Verdict: Gracia must get more out of Gnonto

Despite his tender age, Gnonto has already proven this season that he doesn’t mind having the burden on his back of carrying Leeds to important results having chipped in with six goal involvements this term already and he looks to be capable of stepping up from the start of games or entering later on having been labelled as a ‘super sub‘ by Jake Winderman.

However, Gracia may well have taken the decision to pull him from the last two starting lineups to protect the young Italian from burnout and also from teams totally understanding how he likes to play and take defenders on.

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While that is a sensible approach from Gracia, given that Leeds are 19th in the Premier League with 12 games left to play, the Spanish boss can’t be thinking about the long-term prospect of Gnonto, he just needs to find a way of getting one of his best attacking threats into the side as soon as possible.

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